Author: George McCoy

What Kinds of Cases Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Cover?

What Kinds of Cases Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Cover?

Medical professionals are supposed to provide the best care possible to those who seek out their expertise, but that isn’t always the case.
In some instances, mistakes made by medical professionals can lead to lifelong injuries, worsening symptoms, or even death. Depending on your situation, these mistakes can be considered medical malpractice and may be handled by a medical malpractice attorney in Oregon. The medical malpractice attorneys at Warren Allen LLP work specifically on cases where medical professionals cause individuals harm or a negative medical experience.
Here are a few of the cases that are commonly covered by medical malpractice attorneys:

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is when a medical professional examines a patient and either fails to diagnose the correct illness or says that the patient doesn’t have an illness when they actually do.
When this happens, a patient may be diagnosed with a condition that they don’t have and, as a result, take medication and treatment that is unnecessary. A “missed diagnosis” can cause a disease or ailment to worsen, preventing a patient from having the opportunity to treat it in a timely manner.
Misdiagnosis is one of the most common reasons people hire a medical malpractice attorney, and make up a majority of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Delayed Diagnosis

A patient may also suffer from not being diagnosed with a health condition, ailment, or disease in a timely manner, also known as receiving a delayed diagnosis. In order to be classified as malpractice, the patient must seek out professional medical help and fail to be diagnosed properly.
When this happens the patient doesn’t receive the treatment they need in the correct time frame and typically will have further health complications as a result. In worst-case scenarios, a delayed diagnosis can result in harm or even death.
Some instances that occur and are considered to lead to delayed diagnoses are as followed:

  • Dismissing symptoms reported by the patient that would lead to a correct diagnosis
  • Lost or mishandled lab work or results
  • Failure to refer the patient to a specialist when signs indicate they should be
  • Not doing further tests when there are abnormalities in routine bloodwork<

If you have experienced an issue that resembles one of these scenarios and have suffered medically because of it, you may wish to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal options are available to you.

Surgical Errors

A surgical error is a preventable mistake that occurs during a surgical procedure. While all surgeries come with their own risks, there are some mistakes that can be prevented with proper care and procedure.
Some examples of surgical errors are incompetence, poor communication, insufficient planning, neglect, fatigue, or drug and alcohol use. The most frequent surgical errors include operations on the wrong body part, nerve damage, the administration of too much or too little medication, and wrong incision location.
If a surgical error was caused due to one of the above reasons, it could be handled by a medical malpractice attorney. It’s best to consult with an attorney in your state to see if your unique situation qualifies for these kinds of lawsuits.

Birth Injury

Birth injuries are sustained during the labor and delivery process and include injuries such as nerve damage, broken bones, or even death. This occurs when health professionals involved in the birthing process, such as midwives, nurses, or doctors, fail to uphold quality medical care and an injury is sustained to either the mother or the infant.
Common mistakes made during the birthing process can include not performing a C-section when medically necessary, not properly monitoring for signs of fetal distress, improper use of forceps, and exercising too much force. When a birth injury is sustained to an infant or mother during labor or delivery, it may be handled by a medical malpractice attorney in Oregon.
Birth injuries that are commonly cited in malpractice suits include cerebral palsy, brain damage, and paralysis. Injuries like this can significantly impact the child’s quality of life and cause lifelong medical issues. For these reasons, they and other birth injuries are often handled by medical malpractice attorneys.

Failure to Treat

Another frequent cause of malpractice claims is failure to treat. The phrase “failure to treat” may seem cut and dry, but more situations fall into this category than you’d expect. Some examples of failure to treat include failing to provide follow-up care, not ordering necessary medical tests, and releasing a patient too soon from the hospital. Doctors handling a larger caseload or patient roster than they are capable of dealing with is another form of failure to treat. These scenarios and more may be covered by a medical malpractice attorney.

Medication Error

Taking too much, too little, or the incorrect medication can come with some serious consequences. If you are prescribed the wrong medication, the wrong dose of a medication, or prescribed medication that is unnecessary, it may be considered medical malpractice.
When a doctor chooses to prescribe a medication for you, it is their duty to check for other prescriptions you’re already taking, to ensure they’re choosing the correct medication, to check for proper dosing, and to prevent any drug interactions. Failing to inquire about your current medications could result in severe symptoms or side effects and, in worst-case scenarios, could result in death. This could be caused by a mistake on your doctor’s part, but it can also be the fault of a pharmacist. Medication error is a serious mistake to make, which is why it’s often covered by medical malpractice attorneys.
If you or someone you know has experienced a medical issue that resembles one of the above cases, it may benefit you to reach out to a law firm like Warren Allen LLP. The medical malpractice attorneys at Warren Allen LLP can look into your case and determine whether you have any legal standing to file a lawsuit against the medical establishment that has wronged you. The damages from these types of lawsuits often include recovery for pain and suffering, medical bill coverage, or recovery for reduced quality of life.

Avoid These Common Divorce Mistakes in Oregon

Avoid These Common Divorce Mistakes in Oregon

Understanding common mistakes people make during their divorce can help you avoid the same traps. Your Portland divorce attorney will be your ally and can advise you during the divorce while offering advice specific to your individual situation.
Going through a divorce is stressful, and the resulting emotions are not unexpected. It’s helpful to be aware of how these emotions may impact decision-making during this time. Whether you are working through a collaborative and civilized divorce or one that is fueled with difficulty and conflict, the approach should be the same. What’s important is to not allow stress or confusion to overwhelm your decisions during the process.
Though this may be a difficult time, keep in mind that there are certain pitfalls you need to watch out for while negotiating and filing for divorce.

Rushing to Settle

It’s understandable to want to finalize a divorce quickly and move forward to end this chapter and start a new one, but this can compromise a fair outcome. Full information is essential in settling on a proposal that is the best resolution for all parties. Though it may be tempting to accept the first settlement proposed or settle before all pertinent information is available, it may leave you with an unfavorable result. Sitting down with an experienced divorce mediator may be best for both parties to work toward a solution.
It’s helpful to take your time and think through these decisions carefully while consulting your Portland divorce attorney. Once an agreement has been signed by a judge, it cannot be reversed or changed unless you go through additional court proceedings, and often only if there were assets omitted (either intentionally or unintentionally). Take the time to carefully consider settlement proposals before accepting them and work toward a resolution that is best for your situation.

Not Setting Appropriate Boundaries for Your Children

Age-appropriate communication with your children is crucial during a divorce. It can be a confusing time, and it’s important they work through their feelings and have a safe place to ask questions. It’s also essential to clarify that it’s not their fault and to provide reassurance.
Healthy communication with your children about the divorce should include balance. It’s important to not overshare or fail to prepare them by not discussing it all or avoiding the subject. Keep the conversation age-specific and avoid speaking negatively about the other parent.
Before discussing the divorce with them, take time to think about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate for them to know and set healthy boundaries. There are several books available that cover how to speak to your children about divorce, or a family therapist may be a viable option.

Losing Focus

At the time, every detail may seem critical to take to court. In the interest of not dragging out the process, select which issues are worth taking to court and which ones can be negotiated. Your Portland divorce attorney can help decide which issues fall into which category if you are struggling.
Keep the end goal in focus when making these decisions so you can secure a positive future.

Refusing to Negotiate

A common mistake in divorce is rushing the process, but the opposite can be true as well. Negative feelings or a desire to make a spouse “pay” for their shortcomings in the relationship can unnecessarily drag out a divorce.
This may not be true in each divorce, but unresolved issues or anger in some separations may lead to attempting to use the legal process as an opportunity to get even. Refusing to compromise and insisting on going to court or dragging out court appearances can cost time and money. The court may not view this favorably and it could cost you. It’s natural to be angry, but do your best to stay focused so you can focus on the best outcome for yourself.

Listening to Misinformation

Everyone has advice and opinions when it comes to a divorce, whether it’s your family, friends, or the internet. Though some of this counsel may be wise, especially from someone who has previous experience with divorce, keep in mind that a legal process requires the services of an attorney local to you who specializes in family law and how it relates to your situation. With the internet putting a lot of sources at our fingertips, there can be a lot of misinformation that will lead you astray.
An experienced attorney specializing in family law will have detailed knowledge in divorce, as well as other areas of legal practice, and can help you reach the best resolution possible. They will be your ally, help mediate, and help advise you in obtaining the best possible outcome in your divorce.
Whether you need help with legal representation or advice in separation, divorce, custody, or establishing parenting time, Warren Allen LLP is here to help. Our experienced attorneys have detailed knowledge of family law and other areas of legal practice that may arise in domestic relations. Contact us today and let our attorneys help you secure a positive future and the best resolution possible.

Forgetting to Keep Long-Term Goals in Mind

It’s easy to get stuck in the past and forget to create a plan for your future. There are a lot of factors to consider that can be overlooked when dealing with the overwhelming and immediate details. Receiving helpful counsel from professionals like a Portland divorce attorney, counselors, or financial experts may be helpful in staying grounded and creating a plan for the future. This can include protecting the future well-being of children, your mental health, property, and finances.
You may need to make a plan for parenting time, keeping your children’s best interests in mind. You may need to account for financial changes such as a change in income, the differences in separate property and marital property, as well as changes in income tax post-divorce.
Seeking the counsel of professionals, family, and friends can help you create a support team for your family, so you don’t have to go through the process alone. Having help from a knowledgeable and supportive team will help you avoid some of the common divorce mistakes.
Going through a divorce can be a difficult time, but making careful decisions and accepting the correct types of help can guide you to a more favorable future.

What Is the Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer in a Claim?

What Is the Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer in a Claim?

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone’s negligence, you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you should you decide you initiate legal action. Instead of engaging a general practitioner, having a specialized lawyer who is an expert in handling matters relating to the negligence of a third party can make a difference to the outcome of your case.

If you’re wondering about the specific role of a personal injury lawyer in such matters, here’s what you need to know:

Gathering Evidence

Gathering the right evidence is central to the success of your claim. The law has strict requirements about what can be accepted as evidence. Any oversight at this stage can completely change the outcome of your case.

A personal injury lawyer is trained to understand the fine print of the law and ascertain the type of evidence needed to raise a claim successfully. Physical evidence, medical reports, photographs, and witness and expert statements are all critical to establishing your case. Moreover, if not preserved or photographed properly, physical evidence can get destroyed within a few hours or days after the incident.

This is where a personal injury lawyer can help, as they ensure the evidence is gathered properly. They also make sure all witness and expert statements are recorded, as per the requirements of law.

Evaluating the Merit of Your Case

Until the case is settled or heard and decided by a jury, no one can guarantee the outcome. But it’s of no use to pursue legal remedies if the outcome is destined to go against you. A personal injury lawyer will evaluate your case by considering all aspects of your claim and tell you what your chances of success are. Moreover, it works in their favor to do an initial assessment since most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee model.
Since they are familiar with the burden of proof, it’s their responsibility to tell you whether it will be too difficult to meet the requirements. And this examination goes beyond simply looking at the immediate facts of the case. Personal injury lawyers look at the entire incident comprehensively to determine how it has changed your life.

Help Negotiate a Settlement

Often, cases can be settled to achieve the best outcome. In fact, trials are riskier, expensive, and may go against you even if the odds are in your favor.
As an aggrieved party, you may hardly be in a position to negotiate with the party at fault. Even if you do it on your own, you may end up overlooking critical aspects of the case and negotiating a much lower amount than you deserve.
Luckily, that’s one of the advantages of getting a personal injury lawyer on board, as they can negotiate on your behalf. Armed with knowledge and years of experience, a lawyer knows the ins and outs of dealing with all other parties to ensure that you get a fair outcome.
Preparing Arguments
If your case is going to trial, you will need solid arguments. Even a single misstep here can impact the outcome of your case. A personal injury lawyer knows how to draft the pleadings based on tested strategies that appeal to the audience. They know how to present their arguments persuasively and succinctly so that both judge and jury are likely to rule in your favor. They also manage the finer details of the pleadings, such as using the correct format and filing the motion on time.

Preparing Deposition Strategies

The examination of witnesses, claimants, or defendants plays a pivotal role in your claim. How each participant narrates the events leading to the injury you have suffered is essential to making your case to the jury and judge. But in the absence of thorough preparation of plaintiffs and their witnesses, there is a chance that the case may get dismissed on summary judgment.
A personal injury lawyer helps their clients craft a compelling story and present it clearly and so the weaknesses aren’t highlighted. They also work out how to depose the defendants during cross-examination and poke holes in their statements to strengthen your case.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies and Sending Demand Letters

Insurance companies are key stakeholders in most personal injury claims, and dealing with them is often challenging. Personal injury lawyers are experts when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies. Not only do they go over the details of the policy statement to determine the exact compensation available, but they can also ensure regular communication with the insurer to avoid any untoward circumstances where the claim gets rejected or jeopardized.
A personal injury lawyer may also send demand letters to the insurer detailing the facts and the estimate of the claim amount payable on account of the injury. In fact, they also ensure that the insurance companies pay up the maximum amount possible following the policy terms, as insurers attempt to find loopholes in the claim to reduce their liability.

Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer to give you solid legal advice?

Now that you’re familiar with the role of a personal injury lawyer, make sure to approach one if you or a loved one has experienced an accident that has resulted in injury or even death. Suitable legal representation can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer in Portland and Pacific Northwest, reach out to Warren Allen LLP. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho courts and can help you litigate your personal injury claims successfully. Contact us to learn more.

Your Portland Attorneys Should Be Experts in What You Need

Your Portland Attorneys Should Be Experts in What You Need

When selecting a Portland attorney to represent your interests, it’s important to choose someone who can meet your specific legal needs. Having just any attorney isn’t enough. You need an attorney who has expertise and experience in the field in which your case falls. In short, you want to hire a personal injury attorney to manage your car accident case or a family law attorney to handle your divorce.
When faced with legal problems, many people run to the first lawyer they can contact, hoping to solve the problem quickly and cheaply. This puts them at risk of overlooking quality advice from expert attorneys, and they can end up with complicated cases, wasted time, lost cases, and hefty legal fees.
You can easily avoid this if you keep one thing in mind: your Portland attorney should be an expert in what you need.
Law is an extensive practice with many technicalities, some of which are under constant change or review. You should, therefore, not expect a general legal practitioner to grasp the essentials of all branches of law fully. By selecting an attorney who specializes in what you need, you can better ensure your case is handled properly.

The Necessity of Specialization

When in need of legal representation, you have three options:

  1. You can go it by yourself.
  2. You can go with an attorney who has legal experience but in another field or as a general practice attorney. They may have dabbled in the law you require, and they understand the constructs, but they’re limited in their knowledge.
  3. You can choose to go with an attorney who is experienced and knows the ins and outs of the relevant legal field. This expert has worked in the field for years, has handled many different cases, and is prepared to deal with all circumstances.

Advanced societies thrive on expertise. This is reflected everywhere, from medicine to business to the justice system and beyond. Law is interwoven into every aspect of our society to provide justice and order.
It’s likely that, at some point, you will need to contact a Portland attorney for specific legal services, whether it’s for an injury, estate planning, or other areas. Every field of law has its own terminology, evidentiary requirements, procedures, and so forth. A legal practitioner who specializes in another field may know the basic legal implications involved, but they won’t necessarily understand the finer points of the process. That comes with training and experience. This could ultimately hurt the results of your case.
Clearly, of the options above, the best is number three. It helps to have an expert Portland attorney with a wealth of experience who engages actively with the field of law that fits your case. Let’s take a closer look at why this is your best choice.

1. The Technicalities of Law

This is why experts dominate over other professionals in the legal field. Law is a broad body of knowledge, and the better educated an attorney is in a particular area of law, the stronger the case they can make for their client. Knowledge of the technicalities of law does not come from general study. It takes years of practice to establish oneself as an expert in any area of law. During this time, the attorney gathers a wealth of knowledge, from both within and outside the field, that they can continually apply to new cases.

2. Speed

The longer an attorney spends practicing, the easier it is for them to handle new and more significant cases. Complications that could arise from a case are anticipated and dealt with even before there is a need to go to court. Unlike a general attorney, an expert does not have to take a refresher course to prepare for your case, as they are constantly engaging with that particular field of law.
In fact, often, general legal practitioners would still request the services of an expert attorney. Cut out the middleman and reduce costs by choosing a qualified expert Portland attorney for your case.

3. Legal Advice

Expert Portland attorneys are adept at providing the information needed to make your case. They can tell you what you need to gather or overlook; sometimes, it can be the smallest of details that you may consider insignificant. Because they are constantly working in their field, they have seen details from previous cases that could either make or destroy a case. They can point out areas where you need redress and weed out anything that would make your case appear weak. Non-experts do not have that level of knowledge and can mishandle your case by missing small but otherwise significant details in a case.

4. Command of Power

Expert attorneys command respect because of the record of expertise behind their names. Communication written by an expert Portland attorney carries more weight than one from a general legal practitioner, just as a recommendation from a neurosurgeon on brain surgery carries more weight than that of a general medical practitioner. An expert attorney is also easily recognized and more respected in professional circles than general attorneys. Expert attorneys have the benefit of belonging to a network of other expert legal professionals.
Each field of law involves many technicalities. When you choose to use the services of an attorney who has established a record of experience and training concerning the area of law where you need help, you are putting your case in the hands of an expert who can help you get the results you deserve. If you’re looking for a personal injury or family law attorney, look no further than Warren Allen. Within our team, you’ll work with an expert Portland attorney who suits your specific needs. Contact us today.

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Portland or Handle My Claim Myself?

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Portland or Handle My Claim Myself?

Life happens, and that includes all kinds of injuries and accidents. An injury or accident could be a small annoyance: maybe your car only needs bodywork to take out some dents after a small collision. It could also be a terrible tragedy, such as if a loved one is killed on a jobsite. These are on opposite sides of the spectrum of personal injury claims: there are many other types of personal injury claims.

You may wonder in the aftermath if it’s worth hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim—after all, you’re a smart person, maybe the damage or the injury wasn’t a major disaster and maybe you don’t want to spend the extra money for a lawyer on top of those new medical bills or bills from your mechanic. In some cases, you may be able to handle it all on your own, either through insurance or through small claims court. But we want you to have all the facts to make an informed decision. Here are five things to consider about hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim.

1. Insurance Companies Are Complex Systems

Whenever there is a claim—no matter what type of claim it is or the severity of the situation—insurance companies often attempt to minimize the amount you receive. It’s how insurance companies make a profit: by not paying out as much as they could. Personal injury lawyers can help you navigate these waters—we’re more familiar with the verbiage and the loopholes the insurance companies may try to throw at you.

If you have already been offered the maximum insurance settlement possible, you may not need an attorney. For instance, if the person who injured you has an insurance policy worth $100,000, and you are awarded $100,000, you’ll have to have an extremely persuasive reason to go beyond that amount. If that person has assets or money and you feel it’s fair they pay that in addition to the $100,000, you’ll have to have a very good case for it.

2. Oregon Is an At-Fault State

The at-fault system is a more traditional system of filing accident and injury claims. In a nutshell, whoever is at fault in an accident is liable for repairs to vehicles or property, medical costs, and other damages.

Oregon is a little unusual, though, because there are some no-fault provisions (and the system could be argued as a hybrid of no-fault and at-fault—more on this later). In insurance policies for vehicles, for instance, there are built-in no-fault provisions. This means that car insurance providers also provide personal injury protection, which pays for injuries resulting from the ownership, use, or maintenance of a vehicle. Your car insurance policy should automatically have this if your car insurance was bought in Oregon.

3. What’s At Stake?

Managing your own claim and then later hiring a lawyer may complicate things, but you shouldn’t hesitate to get the help you need. Perhaps you feel your claim is easy enough—or low-stakes enough—that you feel comfortable handling it on your own but then decide you’d like assistance later. It’s to your benefit to contact one at this point rather than not at all.

Best practice, even if you’re not sure whether a personal injury lawyer is going to be helpful in your case, is to still contact one and get a consultation. They might be able to give you an idea of what you’re up against or important points you may not have thought about.

If you move forward and handle your own case, you could have a steep learning curve. For instance, you’ll want to be sure you know about the laws in your state. A personal injury attorney in Portland will be more aware of the Oregon Shared Fault Rules. Simply, these rules mean that the other person in your claim may also state that you’re partially at fault for the accident that occurred. Therefore, your share of the money you would have received may be reduced by a certain percentage, based on how much you are found to be at fault.

4. When Should I Contact a Lawyer?

The tipping point might be something small, or it may be the fact that your injuries end up being more major than you first thought. It may be difficult to justify paying the money for a personal injury lawyer, especially if you think your injuries are minor—bruises and scrapes instead of broken bones and time that you can’t work. You should consider, though, that sometimes seemingly minor injuries can turn into major ones. If your injuries are worse than your doctor initially thought but you’ve already received a settlement, that claim is closed and can never be reopened again.
A good lawyer will be able to advise you on whether to wait or move forward until you know the full extent of your injuries. There may also be “pain and suffering” damages involved that you may not be aware of.

Consider also that even if you have a minor injury, it may be difficult to keep a clear mind and be consistent when it comes to reading all the paperwork, doing all the research, or gathering all your materials. Delegating this kind of work to a lawyer will mean all you have to worry about is healing from the injury.

5. Warren Allen Attorneys at Law Is an Experienced Law Firm

It’s likely that, before you had a personal injury claim, you may not have had any kind of experience with the law. The law is always changing, too, and we keep up with each nuance and update. Our firm has been running in the same location since 1971, so whatever type of injury you’re dealing with,  we’ve probably seen it before. Having that precedent and the background for this kind of work, we can help you get the money you need for your peace of mind and recovery. Contact us today for a consultation about your personal injury claim.

Is Oregon a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents

Is Oregon a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents?

Auto accidents are tough under the best of circumstances. However, the more prepared you are, the easier the process becomes. Gaining insight into how your case is handled will better equip you on what steps need to be taken.

Each state has different laws, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with these state-specific auto accident laws. For instance, does your state operate on a “no-fault” or “at-fault” system? If you are a resident of Oregon, which system does it follow? Let’s look at how this could affect your case.

No-Fault vs. At-Fault Systems

What’s the difference between these two systems? Before exploring Oregon-specific auto accident laws, it’s helpful to understand the difference between no-fault and at-fault systems. In a no-fault state, neither party is considered to be at fault for the accident. Regardless of who is responsible for the collision, each driver seeks compensation from their own insurance provider. A party is not required to first prove the other party is at fault before receiving compensation. However, there are some exceptions. If one of the involved parties is suffering from significant injuries or property damage, they can file a third-party lawsuit against the responsible party.

The purpose of a no-fault system is to expedite the insurance process and provide compensation sooner. With a no-fault system, you have to submit a claim to your insurance provider even if you are not at fault.

Most states, however, use the traditional at-fault system. In at-fault states, each insurance company pays for damages measured against the degree of fault with each party involved. If you are the injured party, you will file a claim with the insurance company of the driver that is responsible. The driver who caused a collision is responsible for the damages of the injured party; the insurance company of the party found at fault pays the injured victim.

This means that, after an auto accident, you must first prove who is at fault and to what degree. This is typically handled by an adjuster assigned by your insurance company. If you disagree with the insurance adjuster, you can seek uncompensated damages by filing a lawsuit.

Which System Does Oregon Follow?

For auto accidents, Oregon uses an at-fault system. Since Oregon is an at-fault state, the injured party files a claim with the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident. If you can prove they are at fault, their insurance company will pay damages for injury or property damage. It’s possible to share liability. In this case, the insurance companies will determine to what degree each party is responsible.
However, Oregon law requires insurance policies to include no-fault provisions. This provision requires insurance companies to provide personal injury protection (PIP) to anyone paying for insurance in Oregon, even if they are considered at fault. PIP pays up to a certain amount by your insurance provider for medical expenses, funeral expenses, childcare expenses, lost income, survivors’ loss benefits, and household services. This payout also extends to passengers of auto accidents.

What Compensation Is Available for At-Fault Auto Accidents?

Each case is different, and compensation is determined by the severity of injuries or property damage sustained. However, there are several types of compensation that are typically covered. These include:

  • Medical Expenses: Reimbursement for your medical expenses includes payments for hospital visits, physical therapy, pain medication, and future medical bills related to the auto injury.
  • Lost Income: This includes payment for times you weren’t able to work while recovering. You can request compensation for these lost wages. If the injury affects your ability to continue your current line of work, you can also sue for future loss of wages.
  • Pain and Suffering: This refers to both physical and emotional pain experienced during the accident and recovery process. It’s intended to help compensate for the impact an accident has on your daily life. This includes anxiety, depression, physical pain, strained relationships, and inability to engage in daily activities.
  • Punitive Damages: This is paid on top of compensatory damages if the guilty party has performed outrageous conduct. It’s meant to deter future misdeeds and help the victim if compensatory damages are not sufficient. In an auto accident, this may be awarded if someone was driving drunk.

Should You Seek Legal Representation?

Often, insurance companies don’t have your best interests in mind. Though a provider may not go as far as to act in bad faith and wrongfully deny coverage, they may attempt to minimize the amount of compensation you receive. Since insurance companies may act in their own interests, it is helpful to seek legal representation. A personal injury attorney acts in your interest and helps you receive fair compensation after an accident.

If you have suffered an accident resulting in injury or property damage, the expert team at Warren Allen LLP is here to help. We provide solid legal advice and representation. If you are attempting to receive compensation after an accident, we are here to help you receive fair compensation and the best resolution possible. Contact our firm today to learn what your options are.
Once you’ve been involved in an accident, immediately begin keeping comprehensive records and documentation. This will help determine fault and increase your chances of receiving compensation. After an accident, collect the names and contact information of any witnesses. Keep records of injuries and damages through photos and writing. Seek medical care and keep copies of receipts. Report your symptoms and keep a written account of your experiences. Make sure to faithfully continue medical treatments.

Even though the effects of an accident can be difficult, taking the proper steps can help mitigate the process and may entitle you to more compensation. Get the help you need so you can receive proper care and compensation. With the right attorney, you can focus on what matters most – healing!

Ask These 5 Questions to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Portland

Ask These 5 Questions to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Portland

Hiring a personal injury lawyer, who can best represent your interests in a case that has left you injured due to an accident or negligence of the other party is no easy feat.

You want someone who understands what lies at the heart of the matter so that they can help you get the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve and a market overflowing with lawyers simply adds to the stress of working with a good one. If you are having a tough time finding personal injury lawyers in Portland, Oregon, here are five questions you need to ask to ensure that you are picking someone you won’t regret working with:

1. Have You Tried Similar Cases Before?

Not all personal injury lawyers handle the same types of cases. That’s why it’s important to find out in the beginning whether they have experience with cases similar to yours. Be straightforward and ask them whether they have represented clients who were injured under similar circumstances. For instance, if you were a victim of a slip and fall at a store due to its poor infrastructure, hiring a lawyer who only represents clients involved in car accidents will not be useful.

Having specific experience as opposed to general experience is crucial when you are in the market for a personal injury lawyer because a specialist will know exactly what kind of laws apply to your case and will also have a ready roster of experts and medical professionals whose opinions can help strengthen your case. For example, if you were injured due to a defective product, you will need someone who is well versed with the laws about products liability claims. Also, don’t hesitate to ask how long the lawyer has been practicing personal injury law.

2. How Many Cases Have You Won?

While it’s possible that the opposite party may want to settle with you outside of court—as is often the case—you need to be prepared should the case go to trial. This means you need to know how successful your lawyer has been in winning such cases in the past. Ask about their success rate and also the maximum amount of compensation they have won for their previous clients. Undoubtedly, the experience of your attorney is essential. But unless your chosen lawyer has been successful in the past, it’s probably not worth hiring them. After all, you don’t want to get someone who knows the laws inside out but is unable to convince the jury or judge to decide in your favor.

Ideally, you should work with someone who has successfully negotiated out-of-court settlements and litigated cases to win a favorable jury verdict. If the lawyer is hesitant to share their success rate, they are probably not very good at what they do, which should serve as a potential red flag.

3. How Much Will You Charge for Representing Me?

To cut to the chase—money matters and is an important factor to consider when choosing an attorney to represent you.

Usually, most personal injury lawyers in Portland work on a contingency fee model and charge one-third of the compensation you receive, so the lawyer getting paid is contingent on you winning the case or getting a favorable settlement. However, there are also lawyers who may work on different payment models. It’s common for most litigants to opt for a contingency model, as you don’t have to pay out of pocket until you receive something. And don’t forget to ask about the fees in the event your case is unsuccessful. Will the attorney waive any out-of-pocket costs incurred?

The bottom line is, choose someone who suits your needs the best. Before locking in an attorney, ensure that you understand all the terms and conditions of their fees and the billing cycle.

4. How Many Active Cases Do You Handle at a Time?

What good will hiring an experienced attorney do if they are unable to give your case the attention it deserves?

Bear in mind that the legal system is overburdened, and depending on the complexity of your matter, it can take a while even to file the suit. Moreover, Oregon has a statute of limitations of two years for personal injury matters. It means that you need to file your lawsuit within two years from the time you suffered the injury.

You need to work with someone who has time to file the suit well ahead of the deadline and has enough bandwidth to follow up on your case. You should also ask how many personal injury cases they are currently litigating to get a sense of the time they will be able to devote to your matter.

If you are approaching a law firm to represent you, also make sure to ask who will serve as your contact person. You’ll need someone available to attend your calls and answer any questions you may have about the litigation as quickly as possible.

5. What Is My Claim Worth?

Simply based on facts, an attorney may not be able to give you a definitive amount of your claim. However, based on their experience, they should be able to provide you with a rough estimate. Getting a rough estimate is also helpful should you have insurance companies pushing you to get an out-of-court settlement.

To sum up, you need to pick a personal injury you see yourself getting along with. Your attorney should have your best interests in mind and should be willing to hold your hand through the process. If you are looking for a team of personal injury lawyers in Portland, Oregon, consider choosing Warren Allen LLP.

We have a team whose expertise lies in representing clients in a variety of personal injury suits and providing them solid legal advice. We are committed to getting you the best resolution possible. Get in touch with our firm today to learn more about how we can help you.

What To Do After a Car Accident in Portland

What To Do After a Car Accident in Portland

On average, six million car accidents happen in the United States every year. These include fender-benders and smaller-scale collisions all the way up to totaled vehicles. While the number of cars on the road has decreased during the pandemic, people tend to drive while distracted more often and speed, so your odds may be a little greater of getting in a car accident. Oregon is an at-fault state, meaning that if you cause a car accident, you (and your insurance) are responsible for those damages.

The first few minutes after a car accident can be confusing and scary, and you may not know what needs to be done first. Never fear. Here is a list of the things you should do first after a car accident in Portland.

1. Safety First

If possible, pull your car over to a public, well-lit and safe place nearby. This way you won’t impede the flow of traffic and you and the other driver will be able to see each other clearly. If you have a choice, choose the more public option so that others may see the other driver just in case they decide to leave the scene. It’s important that you don’t leave the scene, especially if there are injuries or if there are damages to the vehicles and insurance information to gather.

Hopefully, your car is still drivable, but if not, take stock of whether it will be a road hazard. If you can push it to the side, you can move it even up onto a sidewalk. If not, turn your emergency hazard lights on to give warning to passing cars.

2. Secure Your Traveling Companions

Were you in your car with your pet, a child, another adult, or an elder? Assess whether they are injured first. If you have a child young enough to be in a car seat, don’t take them out of the seat just yet. They may have injuries you can’t see, and it would be best to have a first responder check them out.

However, you wouldn’t leave a pet or a child or an elder in a hot locked car when you run into a store, so if the accident is a minor collision, you can leave the engine running with the AC on, roll down the windows, or let them out of the car while you handle the accident details. But this is assuming there’s a safe place to do so. Make sure you’re situationally aware of the area so you can prevent further injuries and so the pets and people in your care don’t wander off.

3. Talk With the Other Driver

Again, it’s good to be situationally aware. Is the other person agitated? Is this a safe place to talk? They may be frightened or blame you for the accident, so it’s important to choose your words carefully and—above all—remain calm. Before you speak with them, secure any valuables on your person as well. For instance, make sure your purse or wallet is with you rather than in a car with an open window.

It may be appropriate to engage in small talk if you and the other driver need to call an ambulance or the police, but be sure you don’t make any admissions, blame the other person, or apologize. If a claim is filed and the other driver or other witnesses say they heard you say you’re sorry or that you’re at fault in some way, it could be a major headache for you down the road. Rather, the insurance companies will determine these things later.

4. Gathering Information

It’s important to gather the right facts right after a collision. Information you will need to gather from the other driver includes their name and contact information; their insurance company and policy number; their driver’s license and license plate numbers; the type, color, and model of their vehicle; and the time and location of the accident. Be prepared to give this information as well. You should also take pictures of the accident scene and record with audio or video while you ask witnesses what they saw, but make sure they stick to the facts.

Other information you can gather includes road conditions or weather, any injuries you might see, and anything else that contributed to the collision (a distraction on the road, such as a squirrel, cat, or a runaway basketball, for instance). If your insurance company has a mobile app, sometimes they will walk you through items like this so these details aren’t lost in the shuffle.

If you’re a prepared person, you may already have this app on your phone or mobile device, which will cut down on time spent figuring it out and setting it up. Your insurance provider’s app might be critical in this situation because not only can it help you with the accident details, but you may have access through it to roadside assistance or towing or even rental car options.

And of course, make sure to save all this information and details, including receipts, bills, and medical records so that if a claim is filed you will have it all on hand.

5. Contact Your Insurance Provider (And Maybe Us!)

You’ll want to start an auto insurance claim once all these other items are handled. You can expedite the claim process this way by being proactive. Your insurance agent may also have further questions you might have missed or will be able to point out things you are eligible for in your policy. Make sure you ask any questions if you’re not sure of the process or what you need to do, especially if there are any deadlines.

Hopefully, you are uninjured, but if you or someone you love is injured or killed in a car accident, the expert team at Warren Allen LLP has your back. If you find you need to file a personal injury claim, contact Warren Allen today.

Senior couple meeting over a desk with a female attorney.

How Do I Find an Attorney to Help Prepare My Estate?

Making plans for your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacitation is one of the most important things you will ever do. You need to find the best person for the role. An estate attorney in Portland can help you make the appropriate decisions and legal arrangements. But how do you hire one? Read on for tips to help you find an attorney to help you with this important work.

Get a Referral From a Friend

People often speak with friends first to find referrals. If you have a friend who has already been through the same process and you trust their judgment, ask for the contact details of the attorney they went with. Of course, you still need to make sure this attorney is right for you, but a recommendation is a great place to start.

Get a Referral From an Attorney

Getting a referral from an attorney who has worked for you in the past and who you believe has good judgment is a great way of finding someone who can help you prepare your estate. Attorneys will have plenty of contacts among other attorneys who specialize in this area and will be able to point you in the right direction.

Search Google for an Estate Attorney Portland

Another option when looking for an estate attorney in Portland is to do a quick Google search. Google searches can help you find more or less anything you want nowadays, however, be careful. You must make sure that the attorneys you find are reputable. Just because they rank highly on Google, does not mean that they are necessarily the best in the business. Do your due diligence and check out what the reputation of the firm and the attorney you will be dealing with before you put any money down.

Vetting Potential Attorneys

Check If the Attorney Has Malpractice Insurance

Having malpractice insurance is a sign of accountability. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, so you should not hire an attorney who does not have malpractice insurance. In some states, it’s not a legal requirement for an attorney to have this type of insurance. But make sure that you are not caught out by an attorney who doesn’t have it.

A good tip to know is that attorneys who are incorporated (usually signified by having PC or APC after the name of their firm) have to keep malpractice insurance in most states.

Check What Law School the Attorney Went To

Some law schools are harder to get into than others, and these are the schools that tend to have the highest standards. The law school ranking system has four tiers, with the first tier being the most difficult to get into. Asking the attorney you are thinking of going with what law school they went to can tell you about their training and help you in deciding whether you want to hire them.

Ask How Long They Have Been Practicing

New attorneys lack the experience of attorneys who have been practicing for longer periods of time. For a role this important, it’s better to pick someone who has been practicing for a long time and dealt with a variety of situations. This increases the likelihood of you and your estate being in good hands.

Ask Exactly What Their Charges Are

Estate attorneys in Portland usually charge flat fees, rather than billing by the hour. Occasionally, attorneys do both and charge a fixed rate for some services but an hourly rate for others. Checking exactly what their rates are beforehand can ensure there are no surprises.

Ask If There Is Someone Else in the Office Who Can Answer Your Questions

While most estate-planning attorneys aim to make themselves available as much as possible, there are occasionally times when these attorneys are not contactable. If it’s important for you to have someone who can answer your questions expediently all the time, find out if you will be able to talk to one of their colleagues in this eventuality.

Questions for You to Think About When Meeting an Attorney

  • Do you have good rapport with this person?
  • Does this attorney communicate effectively and clearly?
  • Would you be happy talking about this person regarding personal matters relating to your estate?
  • Do you trust this person?

If you answer “yes” to all of these questions, this is further indication this attorney is the right person for the job.

What Should I Do Before Meeting a Potential Estate Attorney?

Before you meet with any potential estate attorneys, there are a few things you should do:

  • Write down your contact information and the contact details of the people who will be affected by this matter.
  • Have a good idea of what it is that you would like to achieve. If there are some things that you are uncertain of, a good estate attorney will be able to help you with this.
    Get the required documents and put them together in a logical order.
  • Write down as many things as you can about your situation. Doing this will help to speed things up while you are with the attorney. Remember, that attorneys tend to charge fairly high rates per hour, so doing this can help to save you money.
  • Make copies of the documents that you will give to your attorney, as you may need to look at them at a later date.

Conclusion

If you follow all the tips in this article, you will stand a good chance of finding an attorney who can skillfully carry out your wishes regarding your estate.

Warren Allen LLP has been serving Portland and the Pacific Northwest since 1971, and we have a great deal of experience in preparing estates. We know how important it is to make sure that those that you care for are provided for after you’re gone. You can be sure that your case is in safe hands with us.

Attorney going over legal paperwork with client. Only hands seen along with gavel.

Describe Three Ways to Narrow Down Qualified Personal Injury Lawyers

If you search for lawyers in your local area, your search results will show dozens, if not thousands, of possible contacts. How do you narrow down a list of potential lawyers to determine which ones are qualified? It’s an important question for any type of lawsuit, especially for personal injury cases. Considering how complicated these can be, clients naturally want to know they can trust a lawyer to look out for their best interests. Read on and we’ll describe three ways to narrow down qualified personal injury lawyers.

1. Identify Potential Lawyers

The first way to narrow down qualified lawyers is to come up with a list of potential candidates. You can start by asking friends and family for any referrals. Even if they don’t have relevant experience themselves, they may know someone who went through a similar legal battle as yours. Have them describe why the names they recommend should be on your narrowed-down list of qualified personal injury lawyers.

One very helpful resource to check out is your local bar association. Because this is a personal injury case, you may also want to inquire for recommendations from certain medical professionals.

The internet can also be an incredibly valuable tool. If you’re really starting from scratch, search for attorneys in your area, and then by personal injury specialty. You may also be able to find some qualified options through the news, mailers, radio, or other media.

See if there are any online reviews or testimonials you can find as well. How do others describe their experience with the personal injury lawyers? Do any of the attorneys come across as properly qualified in the descriptions?

And keep an eye out for any negative reviews. If a lawyer sounds too good to be true, there could be an unsatisfied previous client who is trying to warn others.

2. Do Background Research

Once you have a list of candidates, do some research on their backgrounds. This can be described as looking at their education, how long they’ve been practicing, their general reputation, and so forth.

Now, let’s describe some other effective ways to narrow down qualified lawyers with good reputations.

  • Find out how long they have been practicing law, and personal injury law specifically.
  • See if they have earned certain accolades and/or won awards.
  • See if they have published any case studies.
  • Do they have an online bio that lays out their most impressive accomplishments?
  • Can you find any disciplinary actions that involve the individual lawyer? What about the law firm they work for?

While these are some general ways to narrow down qualified lawyers, don’t forget how important the personal injury specialty is. In case the laws change, you want to make sure to choose a lawyer who stays informed of all the latest developments.

Likewise, you should also make sure that the attorneys are as knowledgeable about the medical field as they are about the law.

Furthermore, you should try to make sure they have plenty of experience, not just with medical-related law, but also with your specific type of personal injury case.

3. Talk to the Personal Injury Lawyers

Recommendations and research are highly effective, but another way to narrow down qualified candidates is to talk to the lawyers themselves. This should be done once you’ve narrowed down the list using the two ways above. You don’t want to waste your time by talking to any lawyer in your area. That being said, however, you should be meeting with at least a few candidates. And be sure to come prepared with the necessary paperwork and information. This can include correspondence, medical bills, and any reports.

Ask questions

Make sure that you are asking the right questions. While you’ve ideally done some research ahead of time, you should still ask some of those basic questions to see how the attorney responds. There could be something important that wasn’t found in your online research.

To make sure the attorney is qualified, ask how many personal injury cases they’ve tried. How many of those cases have they won? Ask them about their most recent personal injury case and what the outcome of it was.

You should also be asking questions about your specific case. These can include:

  • What kind of personal injury law experience do you have?
  • Have you handled a similar case before?
  • Do you typically represent individuals or insurance companies?
  • How long do you expect the timeline of this case to be?
  • What would be your strategy for this case?

Discuss fees

These aren’t the only things you should be inquiring about. While some people get nervous discussing payment, it can be imperative to ask about the fees. Here are some of the questions you can ask about fees to narrow down qualified lawyers below:

  • Is the initial consultation free? If not, how much will I be charged?
  • Will I be provided with a list of fees?
  • How many people will be working on this personal injury case? How many different services will be involved? Will there be individual fees for every single one?
  • What is the ballpark anticipated cost overall, fees included?

If the individual you’re speaking to cannot answer these questions or does not provide satisfactory answers, then consider it another way to successfully narrow down your list of qualified lawyers.

The above tips describe three ways to successfully narrow down qualified lawyers, setting you on the path to find one you can fully rely on. But the best way to narrow down qualified personal injury lawyers? Choose one of our experienced, dedicated, and trustworthy attorneys here at Warren Allen LLP. We are sure our attorneys will provide the best legal advice and representation available in the Pacific Northwest, which we’ve served for over 50 years.

You can find more information on Warren Allen LLP, our specialties, and our attorneys on our website. Our blog includes helpful legal tips and expert advice. Have questions for us? Don’t hesitate to reach out. You can find our contact information on this website as well.

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